Drunken South Normanton dog walker’s pet to be destroyed after it attacked horses

sp56888'Chesterfield Magistrates Court
sp56888'Chesterfield Magistrates Court

A doomed Staffordshire Bull Terrier has been ordered to be put down after the dog attacked horses in a field while being walked by a boozed-up owner.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Wednesday, January 6, how Christopher Clarke, 39, of Elmhurst Avenue, Broadmeadows, South Normanton, had been walking his Staffordshire Bull Terrier Charlie when the dog attacked the horses in Pinxton.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “A witness said she heard shouting and saw a man in the field and saw a dog chasing horses.

“She saw the dog bite the tail of a black horse and the man was shouting at the horse.

“The dog also tried to bite one of the legs of the horses while the man was tripping over and falling down and she reported the matter to police.”

Other witnesses gave statements saying they had heard shouting and swearing and the dog was chasing the horses and that the man appeared drunk and unsteady on his feet.

Police later found Clarke at a bus shelter and Charlie had a bloody eye and mouth, according to Mrs Allsop, and the defendant claimed the three-year-old dog had been attacked by the horses.

The court heard how one of the horses needed antibiotics due to a swelling and a wound consistent with a dog bite, another had a weeping wound, and another suffered superficial wounds and they each needed veterinary treatment.

Clarke told police during an interview he had been on a public bridleway when Charlie pulled away and one of the horses blew through its nose, reared up and attacked the dog and all the horses reared up.

He claimed the dog was protecting itself and if he had known there were horses nearby he would not have let Charlie into the field.

The court heard how Charlie had been involved in a previous incident in 2012 when he had attacked one of two horses and a rider had fallen and needed hospital treatment.

Police also stated that at the time of the latest incident Clarke had been drunk and incapable of looking after a dog.

The probation service revealed Clarke has been suffering with a long standing drug addiction and has suffered with poor mental health after the death of several relatives.

Clarke pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control after the incident behind Alfreton Road, Pinxton, on July 10, last year.

Defence solicitor Paul McLeod, who urged the court to impose a control order instead of destroying the dog, said: “Mr Clarke likes that dog dearly and he wants to keep that dog.”

However, District Judge Andrew Davison told Clarke: “You were drunk and you should never be drunk with a dog and you trespassed on a private field and the dog overpowered you and got away and attacked horses.

“You deliberately went out and got drunk and have a drug addiction controlled by methadone so I question your suitability for owning a dog.

“I am satisfied Staffordshire Bull Terrier Charlie should be destroyed.

“This was a repeated incident of attacking horses when the dog was not under control by the owner. I regard this dog as a serious risk to horses and riders.”

District Judge Davison ordered the destruction of the dog and sentenced Clarke to a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work and a 12 week curfew.

The defendant was also disqualified from keeping a dog for five years and ordered to pay £200 costs, £87.26 compensation, £85 costs and £60 victim surcharge.